Mountain-climbing with a purpose

Meet Matt Evans who has been an avid ECF ally with a special interest in the work we do. He works with the organization called Salesforce and supports ECF through it. He has recently completed a huge mountain climbing challenge with the aim of raising funds for ECF. He set about sharing the project across his circles and networks with a target of £3,000.00 and ended up raising a total of £5,689.00! This is really awesome news – thank you Matt Evans!

Get to know a little bit more about Matt Evans and his passion for mountain climbing in this brief interview:

1.  The Skye Mountain Challenge is a perfect marriage of two clear passions you have – mountain-climbing and the alleviation of gender-based violence and discrimination against women. Could you tell us how you made this happen?

– I grew up climbing and walking with my father in North Wales and he fostered in me a great respect for nature and the balance you have to keep in life between yourself, other people and the natural world. I live in Sweden and even here I see important causes such as feminism not taken as seriously as they should and deep ingrained cultural inequalities the prevent equal wages, sharing of work in the home and even justified systematic abuse.  I want to make sure that my daughter has a good role model in me and try in a small way to contribute to a secure and equal future for her.

2. What was the actual climb like? Please also recount for us a personal highlight of the climb (even if it is difficult to pull out just one!)

– I’ll not pretend it was easy, the weather was terrible and we did over 4000m ascent over three days (I also covered Blaven on two faces, and then two ascents of the Cioch climbing area as well as the main Cullin ridge). The first day was in almost zero visibility, climbing up the sharp, wet rock with no sense of direction was thrilling; but perhaps the highlight was sleeping at the top that night and seeing the break in the clouds on one side of the ridge with over 1000ft drop suddenly appearing next to the bivvi, while on the other side of the ridge the cloud sat stubbornly brooding. 

3. How did you go about roping people in – both in terms of creating awareness and in terms of raising funds?

Word spread fast, both on social networks mostly thanks to the help of ECF themselves and inside my company. Each year employees get 48hours of time to provide pro-bono services to not for profit organisations, and since december our local Nordic team has been helping EFC with an IT program of work, so with their combined help we spread the message through our contacts in the US, Europe and around the world.

4. What kind of response have you had so far and are you happy with it?

– I’d like to have spent more time fundraising – doing it in the summer when everyone is on holiday is not the best moment to get people to part with their hard earned cash for charity. I think ECF did a great job supporting the drive and it was really down to them that the effort pulled in as much funds as it did. You rock!

5. You have successfully completed the Skye Mountain Challenge – what are your future plans? What are some of the ways we can keep you connected to our cause?

– Well, I’m off to Sardinia for a set of long pitch technical climbs soon, then in the north when I get back it will be nearly Winter! In Sweden this means temperatures of up to – 40 degC, so I’m hoping to plan a trip to Kebnekaise (Sweden’s highest mountain). The London marathon beckons in April too, which will be for the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). Maybe the year after we can do it for ECF? There’s nothing like a quiet life!

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